Saturday, October 6th, 2018
Cardinals defeat Panthers 33-13
By Dave Stilwell
NEW BREMEN - With touchdowns from five different players, averaging more than 36 yards per play, New Bremen broke out of an offensive slump and rolled past Parkway 33-13 Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.
"Obviously we haven't scored in the last couple of weeks, so we were looking for people to make plays and jump-start us offensively," New Bremen coach Chris Schmidt said. "And tonight we saw multiple guys do that, so that was great to see."
The Cardinals got a couple of opportunistic scores in the first half.
On its second possession of the game, New Bremen drove inside the Parkway 30-yard line. A second-down shotgun snap looked like a disaster as it rolled on the ground away from quarterback Nolan Bornhorst. Running back Nicholas Wells picked up the loose ball and calmly tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Hays.
Ryan Bertke added a PAT kick to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.
New Bremen capitalized on the game's only turnover to increase its lead. Grant Selby intercepted a pass by Parkway quarterback Eli Rich and returned it to the Parkway 38-yard line.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Bornhorst found a big hole up the middle on a quarterback draw, and he raced 38 yards to pay dirt. Bertke's kick was wide left to give New Bremen a 13-0 lead with 5:11 left until half.
Parkway's Jack Wehe returned the ensuing kickoff to near midfield and the Panthers took advantage of the short field.
A 16-yard run by Jason Luth and a 23-yard completion from Rich to Luth set the Panthers up inside the New Bremen five yard line.
Rich called his own number and went the final three yards with 2:41 left in the half. The PAT kick from Corey Walls failed to find its way between the goal posts.
New Bremen answered just before the half. Bornhorst launched a deep pass that looked like a jump ball in the middle of the field. A Parkway defender appeared to have the best chance at the ball, which was tipped straight up and into the waiting arms of New Bremen's Grant Selby.
Selby ended up in the end zone for a scoring play that covered 61 yards and gave the Cards a 20-6 halftime lead.
New Bremen went for the knockout punch on the opening drive of the second half. After picking up a couple first downs, Bornhorst connected with Patrick Wells over the middle for a 40-yard touchdown pass.
But the Panthers would not go away quietly. On their next possession, Nick Hawk found a seam on the read option and raced 56 yards for a touchdown, shrinking New Bremen's lead to 27-13 with 7:47 left in the third quarter.
Both offenses were bogged down by penalties late in the third and early in the fourth quarters.
The Cardinals scored the game's final touchdown on a 14-yard run by Zach Bertke and then finished the game with an eight-minute drive that ended in taking three knees to run out the clock to improve to 2-3 in the Midwest Athletic Conference and 4-3 overall.
"Any win in the MAC is huge, especially when you haven't had many in the last few years," Schmidt said. "We're always going to feel good about winning a game in our conference, but this wasn't always pretty. We had way too many penalties, so we've got some things to correct."
Bornhorst had a big game in the pocket. He was nine-for-12 passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Cardinal ground attack with 80 yards on 17 carries. Nicholas Wells added 69 yards on 15 carries.
The Panthers, now 1-4 in the MAC and 2-5 overall, were led by Hawk 77 yards on nine carries. Luth added 51 yards on 12 carries.
Parkway returns home next Friday to host Delphos St. John's.
New Bremen, still in the running for a playoff spot, travels to Versailles.
"For us, it's just one week at a time," Schmidt added. "With the MAC, I don't think there's a bad team. Some teams might be better than other teams, and sometimes teams have bad nights, but you have to be ready to go every single week because the coaching is so good and the players are so good."